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He held the extraordinary theory that a Policeman in India should try to know as much about the natives as the natives themselves. Now, in the whole of Upper India there is only one man who can pass for Hindu or Mahommedan, hide-dresser or priest, as he pleases. He is feared and respected by the natives from the Ghor Kathri to the Jamma Musjid ; and he is supposed to have the gift of invisibility and executive control over many Devils.


This is from “Miss Youghal’s Sais” in Plain Tales from the Hills.

This passage introduces Strickland, the remarkable policeman, master of disguise and adept in strange customs. Later in the story he disguises himself as a groom (sais) to protect a young lady from the dishonourable attentions of an older man.